To reconnect people with country and environment through practical, hands-on training, Greening Australia’s Canberra Office runs several educational programs.
Our Kick Start My Career program connects secondary school age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Canberra with country and environment through practical, hands-on learning.
Delivered by local project officer, Adam Shipp, students spend one day a week over a school term taking part in various activities around the Canberra region such as learning about significant cultural sites, how to identify local bush food and medicine plants, collecting native seed, assisting with propagation, and building respect for culture by connecting with local Aboriginal elders.
Adam developed the program after noticing a disconnect between young people and traditional school based learning; something he had experienced himself. Many children identified as ‘at risk’ in the school environment have responded well to the alternative, hands-on program which provides skill and life-based learning experiences outside of the four walls of their classrooms.
To date, Kick Start My Career has been run over four school terms with several school groups. The program is currently funded for four years through the ACT Government.
Through our Bush Tucker in Schools program, preschool age children in Canberra learn about Aboriginal culture and heritage through being out on country and bush tucker classes.
As part of the program, our Aboriginal project officers Adam Shipp and Aaron Chatfield visit schools around Canberra to speak to young students about the importance of local bush tucker plants and to assist them to plant their own garden at their school. A range of traditional bush tucker plants for the native garden are supplied by our local Greening Australia nursery.
Due to lack of funding, schools currently have to fund the bush tucker workshops themselves, but we are seeking long-term support to expand the program and provide free educational activities.
Publications have been develop which supplement learning including a Ngunnawal Plant Use Guide and information sheets.
Due to the popularity of the program, it has grown significantly over the past five years.
To book your own bush tucker gardens workshop, or if you are interested in providing funding for the program, contact Adam Shipp at Greening Australia on [email protected].
Adam credits his parents, a Wiradjuri father from the Dubbo region and Welsh mother, for inspiring his work and instilling a sense of pride in his identity and culture. Adam is passionate about education and the environment and helping other Aboriginal people to connect and re-connect to culture, places and the local environment. He is also keen to teach all Australians about the beauty and richness of traditional Aboriginal culture and build a respect for the local Australian bush and email@example.com